Fake References, should they accept responsibility?

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    Fake References, should they accept responsibility?

    Hi All,

    We have recently re gained possession of our property through a section 8. Yippee !! Which is great news.

    We would like to if possible try and take our old tenants to court. I know most people don’t recommend this, but it is something we feel strongly about due to the hassle they caused. Maybe not the best idea, but we want to try. Obviously like every bad tenant does they have done a disappearing act, so presently we need to find them to do this.

    One of the reasons we got this bad tenant was due to the company we used doing a poor tenancy application, but one of the things that we did was speak directly to their old landlord ourselves. It has since come to light though that this was a friend pretending to be their old landlady. As she has given a fake reference, does she have any responsibility for the bad debt, like if a company gives a fake reference they can be sued by the new employer? We figured if she realised that this referenece makes her technically involved in the debt then she would be very likely to tell us their new address.

    So my question is,
    a) Does she have a legal responsibility as she lied to us?
    b) Are we allowed to contact her directly (data protection) to give her option of helping us or being involved?

    Any advice would be great.
    Thanks Esther.

    Certainly the false reference giver has committed a criminal act of deception whereby you were induced to accept this tenant whereas without that reference you would not have taken them on. You should tell the FRG that you will report the matter to the police unless she covers you for all your loss and moreso will sue her.

    My own opinion is that in civil law as opposed to criminal - she owes you as the landlord a duty of care to give an accurate reference, instead she gave one that was false. I believe you can sue her on the duty of care principle but you may need a little expert guidance as to what to put in the summons - personally, I would have thought a laymans explanation of the circumstances - i.e. tenant applied, reference given, tenancy given, arrears prevalent, tenant moved, ref found to be false - loss is £x

    I would think you have a good case against the FRG - I cannot see a county court judge letting her get away with it!


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